Guardianship and Administration

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Special provisions regarding consent to medical and other treatment

Part 4A of the Guardianship Act deals specifically with medical and other treatment.

A person responsible or VCAT may make decisions regarding medical and dental treatment. The term medical and dental treatment is defined in section 3(1) of the Guardianship Act to include medical and dental treatments that are able to be carried out by, or under the supervision of, a registered practitioner, or a treatment specified in the regulations. These are typically more procedural treatments rather than major or special procedures, to which a person responsible cannot consent.

Only VCAT has authority to make decisions regarding special procedures, which is defined in section 3(1) of the Guardianship Act to include:

  • any procedure that is intended, or is reasonably likely, to have the effect of rendering permanently infertile the person on whom it is carried out;
  • termination of a pregnancy;
  • any removal of tissue for the purposes of transplantation into another person; or
  • any other medical or dental treatment that is prescribed by the regulations to be a special procedure for the purposes of Part 4A.

VCAT is required to interpret the provisions under the Guardianship Act in accordance with the Charter (see Chapter 3 of this Manual).  Accordingly, when making decisions regarding special procedures, VCAT should consider any impact on the individual's human rights.